I just took at test for theories of mass communication. One of the essays was on the gatekeeping theory. This is a theory that discusses how journalists choose what makes it through the gate. In other words what stories make it to the actual news. The problem is there is too much news and journalists/editors do not have the means to write about all of them. Therefore, journalists are selective in their writing, and editors are even more selective while deciding which stories actual make it to the media. Here are different interpretations of what makes a story newsworthy.
I am sure other people have said this, but as my journalist professor Geoffrey Carr always says “If it bleeds it leads.” He explained how people may complain about the news being to depressing. But when the news is about butterflies and unicorns, no one reads it.
CWS a blog about web solutions, marketing and communication breaks down newsworthy information in three different categories:
- Timing – is a story current.
- Significance – are the majority of people affected by the story?
- Human Interest – promotes emotional responses (ex: mom reunited to son)
Another website Media College.com describes those same factors and more:
- Proximity – does the story happen near your intended audience?
- Prominence – famous people get more coverage